Clearance of the rodent retrovirus, XMuLV, by protein A chromatography

Julia Bach, Lisa Connell-Crowley
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2015, 112 (4): 743-50
Protein A chromatography is the most common unit operation used in the manufacture of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) due to its high affinity and specificity for the IgG Fc domain. However, protein A chromatography is often not effective for viral clearance. Typical log reduction values (LRV) for the model retrovirus XMuLV range between 1 and 4 logs, while effective steps such as viral filtration can achieve 5-7 logs of clearance. XMuLV LRVs obtained on protein A are reproducible for a given mAb, but can vary widely for different mAbs, even with the same operating conditions. In order to understand the mechanism of XMuLV clearance on protein A, we have investigated its partitioning on Mabselect SuRe protein A resin and explored how the virus interacts with resin, product, and impurities. The results show that XMuLV has some interaction with the resin backbone and ligand, but also appears to bind to and coelute with the mAb. The interaction with product was further examined by evaluating the effect of feed conditions, loading, and different washes on XMuLV partitioning on the column. Understanding the mechanism of XMuLV removal on a protein A, resin provides insight into the variability and low viral clearance of this step and suggests ways in which the removal of virus by this step can be improved.

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